Thursday, December 9, 2010

#reverb10 (Shawn's # 7 & 8)

So, I have to admit, I was starting to get a little gun shy about these #reverb10 posts. My first one garnered a few comments and that was cool, but my second just kind of sat there getting all stale and moldy. My third one -- well, that was a punt so whatever.

But then today – BOOM! Comments from the Scribblerati!

Which is a wonderful segue for my response to the next two prompts.

December 7 – Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.

First, we need to get one thing straight here. I get the whole Beautifully Different thing, but whoever wrote that wasn’t Minnesotan. You see, here around these parts we come from good old Puritan stock. Now, I'm the furthest thing from Puritan, but for most of us true Minnesotans those sensibilities run deep in the blood and it just isn't seemly to talk about oneself in that manner. It isn't Minnesota Nice to write a blog about ourselves stating why we are beautiful and wonderful. I mean, I totally am, but I'm not going to wax poetic about it.

So I'm taking a different tack. I'm breaking the rules. I'm going to do the cool, hipster Minneapolis thing and mash these up!

I would like to propose that The Scribblerati is a Beautifully Different Community.

As the banner says, The Scribblerati wasn't actually formed in 2010, but I think this is the year that we have truly come together as a Community. I think I can safely speak for the whole group and say we all consider one another to be good friends, but even more importantly, we have all built up a level of trust that, at least in my experience, is somewhat unusual amongst those I consider my friends.

Let me give you a little background. As a writers group, we meet regularly, every two weeks and we critique one another's work. What does that mean, you ask? Before each meeting, we read as much as 50 or more pages of a fellow group member’s writing. At the meeting, we go around the table, one by one, and provide in-depth feedback. We talk about the things we like, the things we don't like and we do it in detail. Point by point.

Speaking for myself, when I write I put my heart and soul into the effort of producing the best possible piece of art that I can. Sure, I recognize that I'm going into the critique knowing that I will make changes based on the comments of my colleagues, yet I always have serious skin in the game and the experience of sitting there and listening to what other people think about my efforts can be a terrifying and humbling experience.

In my mind, the thing that makes The Scribblerati Community Beautifully Different is that I have never once walked out of a critique session feeling worse than when I walked in. I always leave feeling upbeat. Believe me, this isn't because The Scribblerati shower me with praise and tell me everything I have wrote is perfect. It's because the feedback I get, however hard to hear, always makes my writing better, and it makes me a better writer.

I think there are many reasons why The Scribblerati is such a wonderful critique group. I've been sitting here for a while, trying to figure out how to describe it to you, but I think that in this case the simple approach is the most effective.

The Scribblerati Community is comprised of a group of diverse, unique, talented, passionate, compassionate, intelligent, geeks.

We are awesome.

We are Beautifully Different.


Mark Teats said...

Shawn- am enjoying these posts. Sooner or later (probably later) I'll get around to adding one of my own. On this post I couldn't agree more. I'm thankful to be part of such a great group of dedicated (and yes beautifully different) writers who are so generous and honest with their work and their feedback. We ROCK!

Jon said...

Yay for us!

I think the stated commitment of improving each others and our own writing is important. Nobody's trashing, we're all about better product. Like I said... what, two of these reverb posts ago? I think my next draft of my short story is really going to work out, but it wouldn't be in that place without your input. I know I've improved due to it and I think that same improvement is visible in your works too. I think we've done good.

Also, I put up a blog at my thing about the Walking Dead show, if you want to swing by.

Lisa said...

Awww, now I'm all heart warmy
(not to be mistaken for heart wormy)

Qlaudie said...

I love us!!!!